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Application Guide

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems


Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

August 2012

SYS-APG001-EN

Preface
For more information on dedicated
outdoor air systems (DOAS), refer to the
following:

Dehumidification in HVAC Systems,


Trane application manual
(SYS-APM004-EN)

Dedicated Outdoor Air Equipment,


Trane Engineers Newsletter Live
program (DVD; APP-CMC043-EN)

Water-Source and Ground-Source


Heat Pump Systems, Trane
application manual (SYS-APM010-EN)

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems


ASHRAE webcast, 2012
(www.ashrae.org)

As a leading HVAC manufacturer, we deem it our responsibility to serve the


building industry by regularly disseminating information that promotes the
effective application of building comfort systems. For that reason, we regularly
publish educational materials, such as this one, to share information gathered
from laboratory research, testing programs, and practical experience.
This guide discusses HVAC systems that use:

a dedicated outdoor air unit to treat all of the outdoor air brought into the
building for ventilation, and

zone-mounted terminal units to treat the indoor air.

Treating the outdoor air separately from recirculated return air makes it easy to
verify sufficient ventilation airflow and enables enforcement of a maximum
humidity limit in occupied zones.

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no


responsibility for the performance or desirability of any resulting system design. Design of
the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.

Trademarks
Trane and the Trane logo are trademarks of Trane in the United States and other
countries. All trademarks referenced in this document are the trademarks of their
respective owners.

2012 Trane All rights reserved

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

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Table of Contents
Defining the Dehumidification Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Dedicated OA System Configurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Comparison of Different Dedicated OA System Configurations . . . . . . . . . . 3
Cold or Neutral Air? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Designing a Dedicated OA System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


Selecting the Dedicated OA Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Control of the Dedicated OA Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13


Dehumidification mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sensible cooling mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sensible heating mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ventilation only mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14
14
15
15

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

ii

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

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Defining the
Dehumidification Challenge
Building professionals expend much time and effort to design HVAC systems
that handle both ventilation and dehumidification. High-occupancy spaces,
such as classrooms, pose a particular challenge especially when the system
of choice delivers a constant-volume mixture of outdoor and recirculated
return air. Why? The answer lies in the fact that the sensible- and latent-cooling
loads on the HVAC equipment do not peak at the same time.
Figure 1. Cooling loads at different
outdoor conditions *

When its hot outside, the sensible-cooling load often far exceeds the latentcooling load (Figure 1). By contrast, when its cooler but humid outside, the
latent-cooling load can approach or even exceed the sensible-cooling load.
Constant-volume, mixed-air HVAC equipment traditionally is selected with
sufficient cooling capacity to handle the design load at the peak outdoor drybulb condition and controlled by a thermostat that matches the sensiblecooling capacity of the coil with the sensible-cooling load in the space.
Therefore, as the sensible-cooling load in the space decreases, the cooling
capacity (both sensible and latent) provided by the HVAC equipment also
decreases. In most climates, the combination of less latent-cooling capacity
and a lower SHR (sensible-heat ratio) in the space elevates the indoor humidity
level at part-load conditions.

Based on an example classroom, which is


located in Jacksonville, Fla., and has a
target space condition of 74F dry bulb and
50% relative humidity

An off-the-shelf, packaged unitary air conditioner may further aggravate this


situation. Such equipment is designed to operate with a supply-airflow-tocooling-capacity ratio of 350 to 400 cfm/ton. In hot, humid climates, offsetting
the ventilation load for high-occupancy spaces may require that the unit
delivers no more than 200 to 250 cfm/ton in order to achieve the dew point
needed for adequate dehumidification.
Selecting a packaged unitary air conditioner with enough cooling capacity
(tonnage) to meet the high ventilation load results in excess supply airflow,
that is, more supply airflow than is necessary to meet the sensible-cooling
load. To avoid overcooling the space, the air conditioner must deliver the
supply air at a warmer dry-bulb temperature. Unfortunately, this reduces the
dehumidification capacity of the coil and raises the humidity level in the space,
especially at part load. The right combination of cooling capacity and supply
airflow (large compressors, small fan) simply may not exist in packaged air
conditioners with prematched refrigeration and air-handling components.

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Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

Dedicated OA System
Configurations
One way to overcome the challenges imposed by a constant-volume, mixedair system is to design it as a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS). The
design approach outlined in this guide permits each component of the HVAC
system to do what it does best: Zone-level heating-and-cooling equipment
provides occupants with air circulation and thermal comfort by modulating the
cooling-coil capacity to match the sensible-cooling load in the space. Any local
latent cooling occurs coincidentally; the latent-cooling load does not affect the
selection of zone-level HVAC equipment. Meanwhile, a central, dedicated
outdoor air unit sufficiently dehumidifies and tempers the outdoor air to meet
both the latent-cooling load and the ventilation requirements for all spaces
served by the system.
Dividing the buildings cooling load in this fashion can make it easier to
effectively ventilate and dehumidify occupied spaces. Key concepts to
remember when undertaking such a design include the following:

Always provide conditioned air that is drier than the air in the
space. This practice minimizes the cooling capacity required from the local
HVAC terminals and adequately controls the indoor humidity without
additional, zone-level dehumidification enhancements.

Deliver cold conditioned air whenever possible, and use


recovered energy to reheat during mild weather. Providing cold
conditioned air from the DOAS minimizes the cooling loads at the local
HVAC terminals. During mild weather (spring and fall), modulate the
amount of recovered energy used by the DOAS for reheat; only warm the
conditioned air enough to minimize inefficient reheat at the local HVAC
terminals.
Neutral-temperature conditioned air (which has a dry-bulb temperature
approximating that of the air in the space) increases the cooling capacity
required from the local HVAC terminals and requires more reheat at the
dedicated outdoor air unit.

Deliver the conditioned outdoor air directly to each occupied


space, whenever possible. This helps ensure that the required amount
of outdoor airflow reaches each occupied space, allows the conditioned OA
to be delivered at a cold temperature (rather than reheated to neutral),
simplifies the application of demand-controlled ventilation (when desired),
and allows the fans in the local HVAC equipment to cycle off without
affecting ventilation performance.

Dedicated outdoor air systems can be designed to deliver conditioned outdoor


air either directly to each occupied space or to the individual HVAC terminals
or air handlers serving those spaces. Evaluate the advantages and
disadvantages of each configuration when designing a DOAS application.
Table 1 summarizes the advantages and drawbacks of each configuration.

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

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Dedicated OA System Configurations

Table 1.

Comparison of different dedicated OA system configurations

Conditioned OA delivered directly to each space


The DOAS in Figure 2 consists of a dedicated outdoor air unit, which
delivers conditioned outdoor air (CA) to each occupied space via
separate ductwork and diffusers. The local HVAC equipment
conditions only recirculated air (RA). This configuration
accommodates a wide variety of local equipment, including watersource heat pumps, vertical or horizontal fancoils, unit ventilators,
DX (direct-expansion) rooftop units, split systems, blowercoils,
through-the-wall air conditioners (PTACs), variable-refrigerant-flow
(VRF) terminals, passive chilled beams, and radiant cooling surfaces.

Figure 2.

dedicated
outdoor air unit

local HVAC
unit

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Makes it easier to ensure the required amount of outdoor air


reaches each zone, because separate ventilation diffusers allow
easy airflow measurement and balancing
Affords opportunity to cycle off the fan inside the local unit
(reducing fan energy use), because outdoor air is not distributed
to the zone by the local fan
Allows the dedicated OA system to operate during unoccupied
periods (for after-hours humidity control or preoccupancy purge,
for example) without needing to operate the fans inside the local
units
Affords the opportunity to downsize local heat pumps (reducing
installed cost and energy use) if the conditioned outdoor air is
delivered at a cold temperature (rather than reheated to neutral)

Requires installation of additional ductwork and separate diffusers


May require multiple diffusers to ensure that outdoor air is
adequately dispersed throughout the zone

Conditioned OA delivered to the intake of each local HVAC unit


The DOAS in Figure 3 also uses a dedicated outdoor air unit to handle
the ventilation load. Ductwork carries the conditioned outdoor air
(CA) to each local HVAC terminal or air handler (typically blower
coils, horizontal fancoils, or water-source heat pumps), discharging
it near or directly into the inlet. The conditioned outdoor air then
mixes with recirculated return air (RA) and passes through the
cooling coil of the local terminal (or air handler), which delivers the
mixed supply air (SA) to the space.

Figure 3.

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Helps ensure the required amount of outdoor air reaches each local
unit, because the OA is ducted directly to each intake
Avoids the cost and space needed to install additional ductwork and
separate diffusers
Easier to ensure that outdoor air is adequately dispersed
throughout the zone, because outdoor air is distributed by the
local fan

Measurement and balancing is more difficult than if the OA was


delivered directly to the zone via separate diffusers
May require a field-fabricated plenum or section of duct to connect
the outdoor air duct and mix it with recirculated air prior to entering
the local HVAC unit
Fans inside the local units must operate continuously to provide
ventilation during scheduled occupancy, rather than cycling off
If the dedicated OA system operates during unoccupied periods
(for after-hours humidity control or preoccupancy purge, for
example), the fans inside the local units typically must operate also

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dedicated
outdoor air unit
local HVAC unit

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

Dedicated OA System Configurations

Table 1.

Comparison of different dedicated OA system configurations (continued)

Conditioned OA delivered to the supply-side of each local HVAC unit


The DOAS in Figure 4 delivers the conditioned outdoor air (CA)
directly to the supply-side of each local HVAC terminal, where it
mixes with supply air from the local HVAC terminal before being
delivered to the occupied space. The local equipment conditions only
recirculated air (RA).

Figure 4.
dedicated
outdoor air unit

local HVAC
unit

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Helps ensure the required amount of outdoor air reaches each unit,
because the OA is ducted directly to the supply-side of each unit
Avoids the cost and space needed to install additional ductwork and
separate diffusers
Affords the opportunity to downsize local units (reducing installed
cost and energy use) if the conditioned outdoor air is delivered at
a cold temperature (rather than reheated to neutral)
Easier to ensure that outdoor air is adequately dispersed
throughout the zone, because outdoor air is distributed by the
local fan

Measurement and balancing is more difficult than if the OA was


delivered directly to the zone via separate diffusers
Fans inside the local units typically must operate continuously to
provide ventilation during scheduled occupancy, rather than
cycling off (unless a pressure-independent VAV terminal is used to
maintain outdoor airflow)

Conditioned OA delivered to the open ceiling plenum, near each local HVAC unit

Figure 5.
OA

WSHP

The DOAS in Figure 5 delivers the conditioned outdoor air (CA) to the
ceiling plenum, near the intake of each local HVAC terminal. The
outdoor air mixes with recirculated air (RA) in the plenum before
being drawn in through the intake of the unit. The local unit
conditions this mixture of outdoor and recirculated air, and delivers
it to the occupied space through a shared duct system and diffusers.

air balancing means


SA

top of
dividing wall

WSHP

SA

return air
inlet to ceiling plenum
Source: ASHRAE 62.1-2010 Users Manual, Figure 5-D American Society of
Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc, www.ashrae.org.

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Avoids the cost and space needed to install additional ductwork,


separate diffusers, or field-fabricated mixing plenums

More difficult to ensure the required amount of outdoor air reaches


each unit, since the OA is not ducted directly to each local unit
(refer to the ASHRAE 62.1 User's Manual for further guidance)
Conditioned outdoor air may not be able to be delivered at a cold
temperature, due to concerns over condensation within the ceiling
plenum (rather, it must typically be reheated closer to a neutral
temperature)
Fans inside the local units must operate continuously to provide
ventilation during scheduled occupancy, rather than cycling off
If the dedicated OA system operates during unoccupied periods
(for after-hours humidity control or preoccupancy purge, for
example), the fans inside the local units typically must operate also

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

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Dedicated OA System Configurations

Cold or Neutral Air?


Regardless of where the conditioned outdoor air is delivered, the dedicated
OA unit should dehumidify the outdoor air so that it is drier than the zone.
This offsets the latent load associated with ventilation and, if the dew-point
temperature of the conditioned outdoor air is lower than the dew point in the
zone (Figure 6), also offsets some (or all) of the zone latent loads. This
approach can adequately limit indoor humidity levels, at both full- and partload conditions, without the need for additional dehumidification
enhancements in the local HVAC equipment.
Many dedicated OA systems are designed to dehumidify the outdoor air and
then reheat it to approximately zone temperature (neutral). Delivering the
dehumidified outdoor air at a neutral dry-bulb temperature can simplify
control because it has no impact on the zone sensible cooling or heating
loads.
However, when a chilled-water or DX cooling coil is used for
dehumidification, a by-product of that process is that the dry-bulb
temperature of the air leaving the coil is colder than the zone (Figure 6). If the
dehumidified outdoor air (DH) is reheated to neutral (CA), most of the
sensible cooling performed by the dedicated OA unit is wasted.
If the dedicated OA system delivers air directly to each zone (see Figure 2,
p. 3) or to the supply-side of each local HVAC unit (see Figure 4, p. 4), the
dehumidified outdoor air (DH) can be delivered cold, rather than reheated
to neutral. The low dry-bulb temperature of the conditioned OA offsets part
of the sensible cooling load in the zone, reducing the energy used by the
local unit. At design conditions, this means that the local unit can be sized for
less airflow and less cooling capacity than in a neutral-air system.
Figure 6. Sensible cooling is a by-product of 'cold-coil' dehumidification
85

180

sensible cooling

160

80

dehumidification

F
,
re
tu 70
a
r

pe

b
ul
-b
et
w 60

m
te 65

zone

55

120
coil curves
100
80

50

30

35

40

45

80

CA

DH

tive

rela

60
40

idit

hum

y, %

60
40

humidity ratio, grains/lb of dry air

140

75

20

20
30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105

110

dry-bulb temperature, F

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Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

Dedicated OA System Configurations

Compared to a neutral-air system, a dedicated OA system that delivers cold


air directly to each zone or to the supply-side of each local HVAC unit:

Requires less overall cooling capacity


The required capacity of the dedicated OA unit is the same for both
configurations, but the required cooling capacity of each local unit is less
in a cold-air system than in a neutral-air system.

Requires less overall cooling energy for much of the year


By taking advantage of the sensible cooling already done by the
dedicated OA unit, the cold-air system requires less cooling energy at
each local unit. The neutral-air system throws away this sensible cooling
benefit by reheating the air to approximately zone temperature.

Requires less overall fan airflow and, therefore, less fan energy
The airflow delivered by the dedicated OA unit is the same for both
configurations, but for those zones that require seasonal cooling and
heating, the supply airflow delivered by the local HVAC unit is less in a
cold-air system than in a neutral-air system. (For zones that require yearround cooling, the local HVAC equipment may not be able to be
downsized as much, since it may need to be sized based on the warmest
temperature expected to be delivered by the dedicated OA unit.)

While the conditioned outdoor air should be delivered cold whenever


possible, there are situations when the dedicated OA unit should reheat the
dehumidified outdoor air:

To avoid overcooling at part-load conditions


As explained earlier, delivering the conditioned OA at a dry-bulb
temperature colder than the zone temperature offsets part of the sensible
cooling load in the zone. As the zone sensible cooling load decreases
due to changes in outdoor conditions, solar heat gain, and/or internal
loadsit is possible that the cold, conditioned OA may provide more
sensible cooling than the zone requires. As a result, the temperature in
the zone begins to drop. At these conditions, depending on the type of
local HVAC equipment being used, it may be desirable to heat (or reheat)
the outdoor air before delivering it directly to the zones.
For many applications, another approach to avoid overcooling is to
implement demand-controlled ventilation. This control strategy reduces
the quantity of outdoor air delivered to a zone when there are fewer
people in that zone. This often avoids overcooling altogether, and reduces
the energy used to condition and deliver that air.

In applications where zone sensible cooling loads differ greatly


at any given time
In hotel guest rooms or dormitories, the sensible cooling loads can be
drastically different from zone to zone. The result is that, if the
conditioned OA is delivered cold, it may be more likely that some zones
will experience overcooling. For these applications, it may be simpler to
deliver the conditioned OA at a neutral dry-bulb temperature because the
benefit of delivering the air cold occurs less frequently.
In classrooms or offices, however, sensible cooling loads in the zones are
relatively high during daytime hours. In fact, for some climates,

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

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Dedicated OA System Configurations

classrooms may never reach the point when overcooling occurs during
occupied hours, especially if demand-controlled ventilation is used to
reduce outdoor airflow when zone population decreases. These
applications are typically well-suited for delivering the conditioned OA at
a cold temperature.

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In applications that require lower-than-normal dew points


If an application has very high indoor latent loads or requires a lowerthan-normal dew point, the outdoor air may need to be dehumidified to a
very low dew point. In this case, the corresponding dry-bulb temperature
of the air leaving the cooling coil may be colder than the HVAC design
engineer is willing to discharge directly into an occupied zonebelow
45F (7C), for example. In this case, the dehumidified OA could be
reheated to a more traditional supply-air temperature55F (13C), for
examplebut not reheated all the way to neutral.

To avoid condensation when conditioned OA is delivered to the


ceiling plenum
In some applications, the dedicated OA system delivers the conditioned
outdoor air (CA) to the ceiling plenum, near the intake of each local HVAC
terminal (see Figure 5, p. 4). The outdoor air mixes with recirculated air
(RA) in the plenum before being drawn in through the intake of the local
unit. In this configuration, the dedicated OA unit should reheat the
dehumidified OA to a dry-bulb temperature that is above the expected
dew-point temperature of the air within the ceiling plenum. If cold air is
dumped into the ceiling plenum, it could cool surfaces (structural beams,
electrical conduit, ceiling framework). At night, when the dedicated OA
unit is off, wind or operating exhaust fans may cause humid outdoor air
to leak into the plenum, which may lead to condensation on these cold
surfaces.

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

Designing a Dedicated OA System


In most applications, in most climates, the dedicated OA unit is sized to
dehumidify the outdoor air to remove the moisture, or latent load, from the
entering outdoor air, and is often then dehumidified a little further. In this case,
the resulting dew point of the conditioned air is drier than the space, dry
enough that this quantity of outdoor air also removes most, or all, of the space
latent loads (Figure 7).
Figure 7.

Sizing the dedicated OA unit to offset space latent loads


85

180

sensible cooling

160

80
75

120

r
pe
m
te 65
lb

u
-b
et
w 60

100
80

space

dry enough to remove


space latent load

55

50

30

30

35

40

CA

45

60
40
20

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105

110

75
70
65
60
55

50

dew-point temperature, F

F
e,
ur
at 70

80
humidity ratio, grains/lb of dry air

140

45
40
30
20
0

dry-bulb temperature, F

In some cases, the local HVAC terminals may also help to dehumidify the
space when the sensible-cooling load is high, yielding an indoor humidity that
is drier than the maximum upper limit. As a rule of thumb, size the dedicated
outdoor air unit so that it offsets both the ventilation load and the space latent
loads at the peak outdoor-enthalpy condition.

Selecting the Dedicated OA Unit


The following steps establish the required airflow, dew point, and dry-bulb
temperature for the conditioned air.

Step 1: Determine the entering-air condition. Three factors dictate the


capacity required from the dedicated outdoor air unit: airflow, the enthalpy of
the entering outdoor air, and the enthalpy of the conditioned air leaving the
cooling coil. If the outdoor airflow is constant, then the basis of design is the
condition resulting in the greatest difference in enthalpy across the cooling
coil.
Indoor latent loads fluctuate with occupancy and processes, as well as with
ambient conditions and wind through infiltration. These variables can make it
difficult to discover when the greatest enthalpy difference occurs. However, if
the latent loads within the space are relatively constant and infiltration is
minimal, assume that the greatest enthalpy difference occurs at the highest
outdoor air enthalpy.

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Designing a Dedicated OA System

In most climates, the peak latent ventilation load occurs at a lower dry-bulb
temperature and higher dew point than the outdoor air condition that
produces the peak sensible ventilation load. The ASHRAE Handbook
Fundamentals is a popular source for climatic data representing the outdoor
design conditions for many locations. To aid the design of cooling and
dehumidifying systems, the handbook includes:

The examples throughout this guide


are based on 0.4 percent data from
the ASHRAE climatic data tables. This
percentage indicates that the temperature
is likely to equal or exceed the design value
for 35 hours each year. Some design
engineers choose to use more extreme
conditions; others base their designs on
the 1 percent or 2 percent values,
which represent more hours.

Peak dry-bulb and mean-coincident wet-bulb temperatures


(sensible-design condition)

Peak dew-point and mean-coincident dry-bulb temperatures


(latent-design condition)

Peak wet-bulb and mean-coincident dry-bulb temperatures


(enthalpy-design condition)

Table 2 (p. 10) lists the 0.4 percent, cooling-design data for Jacksonville, Fla.
Plotting these values on the psychrometric chart (Figure 8, p. 10) illustrates
that the highest outdoor enthalpy exists at the peak wet-bulb condition. In
this case, the enthalpy of the outdoor air is 8 percent higher than it is at the
peak dry-bulb (sensible-cooling design) condition.
Note: Using the peak dry-bulb condition as the basis of design will undersize
the dedicated outdoor air unit, making it unable to properly dehumidify
the outdoor air at certain part-load conditions. Remember that the
primary purpose of the dedicated outdoor air system is to properly
control space humidity at all load conditions.

Step 2: Choose the maximum limit for space humidity. The leavingair dew point is determined so that the space humidity level does not exceed
some defined upper limit at worst-case conditions. Some design engineers
might choose 50 percent relative humidity (RH) for the upper limit; others
might choose to design the system to allow the humidity to rise a little higher
(e.g., 60 percent RH) at worst-case conditions, knowing that indoor humidity
would then be lower at less extreme conditions.
Whatever upper limit is chosen by the design team, realize that designing the
system to maintain a lower indoor humidity level will require larger
dedicated OA equipment and increase overall system energy use.
Note: Some types of local cooling equipment, such as chilled beams or
radiant cooling panels, cannot handle any condensation. If this type of
equipment is used, the outdoor air must be dehumidified to a dew point
low enough to remove all of the space latent load plus some margin of
safety to prevent condensation from forming on the local equipment.
As an example, the upper humidity limit might be 55F (13C) dew point.
This allows water at about 58F (14C) to be sent to the chilled beams
or radiant panels without condensation.
In this example, combining the 74F (23.3C) setpoint for the space with a
maximum relative humidity of 60 percent corresponds to a humidity ratio of
75.2 grains/lb (10.8 g/kg) or a dew point of approximately 59F (15C).

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Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

Designing a Dedicated OA System

Table 2.

Design weather conditions for cooling/dehumidifying in


Jacksonville, Fla. (a)
Design condition

Enthalpy

Peak dry bulb, mean-coincident wet bulb

96F (35.7C) DB,


76F (24.5C) WB

39.3 Btu/lb
(91.4 kJ/kg)

Peak dew point, mean-coincident dry bulb

76F (24.6C) DP,


84F (28.8C) DB

41.5 Btu/lb
(96.5 kJ/kg)

Peak wet bulb, mean-coincident dry bulb

79F (26.1C) WB,


91F (32.8C) DB

42.4 Btu/lb
(98.6 kJ/kg)

(a)Source: 2001 ASHRAE Handbook Fundamentals, Chapter 27, Table 1B (0.4% condition)

Figure 8. Comparison of outdoor air enthalpies at 0.4% cooling-design


conditions for Jacksonville, Fla.

Managing Building Moisture, Trane


applications engineering manual SYS-AM15, helps designers identify and quantify
moisture sources. It also presents
moisture-management techniques for the
building envelope, occupied spaces, and
mechanical equipment rooms.

Step 3: Determine the latent loads in the space. The dedicated


outdoor air unit will offset the local latent loads in the space it serves, as well
as the total ventilation load. Common sources of latent load include
respiration from people, processes (such as cooking), and the infiltration of
humid outdoor air through cracks and other openings in the building
structure.
For this example, the dedicated outdoor air handler serves four classrooms
of a school in Jacksonville, Fla. Table 3 (p. 11) lists the latent load for each
space; in this case, the latent loads presumedly remain constant whenever
the building is occupied.

10

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

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Designing a Dedicated OA System

Step 4: Determine the total airflow that the dedicated outdoor air
unit must deliver. If a centralized piece of equipment brings in outdoor air,
and then delivers only outdoor air (not mixed with any recirculated air) to one
or more ventilation zones, ASHRAE Standard 62.1 classifies this as a 100percent outdoor air ventilation system. Accordingly, per Section 6.2.4 of
ASHRAE 62.1, the system-level intake airflow (Vot) delivered by the dedicated
OA unit should be the sum of the calculated zone outdoor airflows (Voz):
Vot = Voz

Given the zone outdoor airflow requirements (Voz) listed in Table 3, the
dedicated OA unit in this example must deliver a total outdoor airflow of 1815
cfm (0.86 m3/s).

Table 3.

Design criteria for a DOAS serving four classrooms in Jacksonville,


Fla. (example)

Space characteristics

Classroom 101 Classroom 102 Classroom 103 Classroom 104

Sensible load

29,750 Btu/hr
(8.7 kW)

26,775 Btu/hr
(7.8 kW)

26,927 Btu/hr
(7.9 kW)

28,262 Btu/hr
(8.3 kW)

Latent load

5,250 Btu/hr
(1.5 kW)

5,465 Btu/hr
(1.6 kW)

5,697 Btu/hr
(1.7 kW)

5,250 Btu/hr
(1.5 kW)

Sensible-heat ratio
(SHR)

0.85

0.83

0.83

0.84

Required outdoor airflow

450 cfm
(0.21 m/s)

450 cfm
(0.21 m/s)

480 cfm
(0.23 m/s)

435 cfm
(0.20 m/s)

Humidity ratio of
conditioned air, Wca

58.3 grains/lb
(8.34 g/kg)

57.6 grains/lb
(8.24 g/kg)

58.0 grains/lb
(8.29 g/kg)

57.7 grains/lb
(8.25 g/kg)

Step 5: Determine which zone requires the driest conditioned


outdoor air. Because the dedicated outdoor air unit will offset the latent
In the QL equations at right, 0.69 and 3.0
are derived from the properties of air; they
are not constants. At the standard air
condition, which is 69F (21C) dry air at
sea level, the product of density, the latent
heat of water vapor, and a conversion
factor for units 7,000 grains/lb (1,000
grams/kg) and 60 min/hr equals 0.69
(3.0). A different air condition or elevation
will result in a different value.

Step 5 (Classroom 101):


Q L = 5, 250 Btu/hr
= 0.69 450 cfm ( 75.2 gr/lb Wca )
Wca = 58.3 gr/lb
( Q L = 1.5 kW )
( = 3.0 0.21 m/s [ 10.8 g/kg Wca ] )
( Wca = 8.34 g/kg )

SYS-APG001-EN

loads in each space (as well as the total ventilation load), the conditioned
outdoor air must be dry enough to enforce the maximum humidity limit in
the worst-case space. Use the following equation to calculate the required
conditioned-air humidity ratio, Wca , for each space:
Q L = 0.69 Voa ( Wsp Wca )
( Q L = 3.0 Voa [ Wsp Wca ] )
where,
QL = latent load in the space, Btu/hr (kW)
Voa= conditioned outdoor airflow, cfm (m/s), which is supplied to the
space by the dedicated outdoor air handler
Wca= humidity ratio of the conditioned outdoor air, grains/lb (grams/kg)
Wsp= maximum limit for the humidity ratio in the space,
grains/lb (grams/kg)
For example, to assure that the humidity ( Wsp ) in Classroom 101 does not
exceed the maximum limit of 75.2 grains/lb (10.8 g/kg), the humidity ratio of
the conditioned outdoor air, Wca , must be 58.3 grains/lb (8.34 g/kg).
Table 3 shows the results of this calculation for all four classrooms. Although
the highest latent load exists in Classroom 103, the critical space is

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

11

Designing a Dedicated OA System

Classroom 102 because it requires the driest air (lowest humidity ratio, Wca ).
Supplying the conditioned outdoor air at a humidity ratio of 57.6 gr/lb
(8.24 g/kg) will offset the latent load in each classroom and assure that the
humidity in Classroom 102 does not exceed the maximum limit; lower
humidities will result in the other classrooms.

Step 6: Determine the required dew point for the conditioned


outdoor air. With the help of a psychrometric chart (Figure 9), we find that a

Step 6:
Q T = 4.5 1, 815 cfm ( 42.4 21.4 Btu/lb )
= 171, 518 Btu/hr = 14.3 tons
( Q T = 1.2 0.86 m/s [ 98.6 49.8 kJ/kg ] )
( = 50.4 kW )

humidity ratio of 57.6 grains/lb (8.24 g/kg) is equivalent to a dew-point


temperature of 52F (11.1C).
Dehumidifying 1,815 cfm (0.86 m/s) of outdoor air from the peak wet-bulb
condition to a 52F (11.1C) dew point requires 14.3 tons (50.4 kW) of
cooling capacity.
Incidentally, lowering the maximum humidity limit to 50 percent would
require 16.9 tons (59.4 kW) an 18 percent increase in capacity.

Step 7: Determine the supply-air dry-bulb temperature for the


dedicated outdoor air handler. If the system design requires neutraltemperature conditioned air, then the air leaving the dedicated outdoor air
unit must be reheated to the desired dry-bulb temperature. This is typically
between 70F and 75F (21C and 24C). For our example, assume that the air
is reheated to 71F (21.7C).
If the system design is based on cold conditioned air rather than neutraltemperature air, then the dry-bulb temperature from the dedicated outdoor
air unit depends on the supply-air dew point. In our example, assuming that
saturated air leaves the cooling coil, then the leaving-air dry-bulb
temperature is 52F (11.1C).
Note: For simplicity, our example does not include the effect of fan heat. A
draw-through fan arrangement will increase the dry-bulb temperature
of the conditioned outdoor air. The slightly warmer air offsets less of the
sensible load in the space, which will affect the selection criteria for the
local HVAC terminals.
Figure 9. Plotting the humidity ratio to determine the equivalent dew-point
temperature

12

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

SYS-APG001-EN

Control of the Dedicated OA Unit


The most common approach to controlling the dedicated OA system is to turn
it on when the building is expected to be occupied. The same time-of-day
schedule that is used to start and stop the local HVAC terminal equipment is
used to start and stop the dedicated OA system.
The fan in the dedicated OA unit is activated to bring in the required amount of
outdoor air for ventilation, and cooling, dehumidification, or heating is
modulated to maintain the discharge air at the desired conditions.
With OA control, the operating mode for the dedicated OA unit is based on
the current outdoor air conditions. Outdoor temperature and humidity sensors
are used to calculate the outdoor air dew point, and compare it to the desired
leaving-air conditions. This determines whether the unit operates in
Dehumidification Mode, Sensible Cooling Mode, Sensible Heating Mode, or if
conditions are sufficient for the unit to operate in Ventilation Only mode
(Figure 10 and Table 4).
Figure 10. Dedicated OA unit control modes (OA control)
85

180

sensible cooling

160

80
75

b
ul
-b
et
w 60

pe

em

100

65

80
dehumidification enable setpoint

30

35

40

45

heating
enable setpoint

sensible heating mode


30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

ventilation
only

55

50

dehumidification mode

120

70

60

cooling
enable setpoint

40

sensible cooling mode


75

80

85

90

95

100

105

20

110

75
70
65
60
55

50

dew-point temperature, F

F
e,
ur 70
t
ra

80
humidity ratio, grains/lb of dry air

140

45
40
30
20
0

dry-bulb temperature, F

Table 4.

SYS-APG001-EN

Dedicated OA unit control modes (OA control)

Control mode

Outdoor conditions

Dehumidification

Outdoor Air Dew Point > Dehumidification Enable Setpoint

Sensible cooling

Outdoor Air Dew Point Dehumidification Enable Setpoint


Outdoor Air Dry-Bulb Temperature > Cooling Enable Setpoint

Ventilation only

Outdoor Air Dew Point Dehumidification Enable Setpoint


Heating Enable Setpoint Outdoor Air Dry-Bulb Temperature
Cooling Enable Setpoint

Sensible heating

Outdoor Air Dew Point Dehumidification Enable Setpoint


Outdoor Air Dry-Bulb Temperature < Heating Enable Setpoint

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

13

Control of the Dedicated OA Unit

Dehumidification mode
If the outdoor air dew point is higher than the Dehumidification Enable
Setpoint, the unit operates in the Dehumidification Mode (Figure 11). In this
mode, compressor capacity is staged/modulated to dehumidify the outdoor
air (OA) to the desired leaving-air dew point (DH). Depending on the
application, this dehumidified outdoor air may then be reheatedusing heat
recovered from the DX refrigeration circuit (i.e., hot gas reheat)to the
desired leaving-air dry-bulb temperature (CA).
Figure 11. Dehumidification mode
85

180

sensible cooling

160

80
75

120

pe
m
te 65
lb

100

u
-b
et
w 60

80

55

50

30

30

35

40

45

60

DH

CA

40

40

45

50

55

65

60

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105

65
60
55

50
45
40

110

70

30
20

20

35

75

dew-point temperature, F

F
,
re
tu 70
a
r

80
humidity ratio, grains/lb of dry air

140

dry-bulb temperature, F

Sensible cooling mode


If the outdoor air dew point is lower than, or equal to, the Dehumidification
Enable Setpoint, and the outdoor air dry-bulb temperature is higher than the
Cooling Enable Setpoint, the unit operates in the Sensible Cooling Mode
(Figure 12). In this mode, compressor capacity is staged/modulated to cool
the outdoor air (OA) to the desired leaving-air dry-bulb temperature (CA).
Figure 12. Sensible cooling mode
85

180

sensible cooling

160

80
75

b
ul

-b
et
w 60

120

pe
m
te 65

100
80

55

60

50

30

30

35

40

45

CA

40

OA

20

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105

110

75
70
65
60
55

50

dew-point temperature, F

F
,
re
tu 70
a
r

80
humidity ratio, grains/lb of dry air

140

45
40
30
20
0

dry-bulb temperature, F

14

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

SYS-APG001-EN

Control of the Dedicated OA Unit

Sensible heating mode


If the outdoor air dew point is lower than, or equal to, the Dehumidification
Enable Setpoint, and the outdoor air dry-bulb temperature is lower than the
Heating Enable Setpoint, the unit operates in the Sensible Heating Mode
(Figure 13). In this mode, heater capacity is staged/modulated to warm the
outdoor air (OA) to the desired leaving-air dry-bulb temperature (CA).
Figure 13. Sensible heating mode
85

180

sensible cooling

160

80
75

120

pe
m
te 65
lb

100

u
-b
et
w 60

80

55

60

50

30

35

40

45

40
20

OA
30

35

CA
40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105

110

75
70
65
60
55

50

dew-point temperature, F

F
,
re
tu
ra 70

80
humidity ratio, grains/lb of dry air

140

45
40
30
20
0

dry-bulb temperature, F

Ventilation only mode


If the outdoor air dew point is lower than, or equal to, the Dehumidification
Enable Setpoint, and the outdoor air dry-bulb temperature is lower than the
Cooling Enable Setpoint but warmer than the Heating Enable Setpoint, the
unit operates in the Ventilation Only Mode. In this mode, the fan continues to
operate, but both the compressors and heater are turned off.

SYS-APG001-EN

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

15

References
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers,
Inc. (ASHRAE). 2012. Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems ASHRAE webcast.
Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. www.ashrae.org.
Trane. Murphy, J. and B. Bakkum. 2011. Water-Source and Ground-Source
Heat Pump Systems, SYS-APM010-EN. La Crosse, WI: Trane.
______. Murphy, J. and B. Bradley. 2002. Dehumidification in HVAC Systems,
SYS-APM004-EN. La Crosse, WI: Trane.
______. Murphy, J., R. Moffitt, P. Solberg, and J. Harshaw. 2011. Dedicated
Outdoor Air Equipment, APP-CMC043-EN (DVD). Trane Engineers Newsletter
Live program. La Crosse, WI: Trane.
______. Stanke, D. and B. Bradley. 2001. Dedicated Ventilation Systems,
Engineers Newsletter, volume 30, number 3. La Crosse, WI: Trane.
______. Stanke, D. and B. Bradley. 2000. Dehumidify with Constant-Volume
Systems, Engineers Newsletter, volume 29, number 4. La Crosse, WI: Trane.
______. Stanke, D., B. Bradway, A. Hallstrom, and N. Bailey. 1998. Managing
Building Moisture, SYS-AM-15. La Crosse, WI: Trane.

16

Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems: Trane DX Outdoor Air Unit

SYS-APG001-EN

Trane optimizes the performance of homes and buildings around the world. A business of Ingersoll Rand, the
leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and energy efficient environments, Trane offers a broad
portfolio of advanced controls and HVAC systems, comprehensive building services, and parts. For more
information, visit www.Trane.com.
Trane has a policy of continuous product and product data improvement and reserves the right to change design and specifications without notice.
2012 Trane All rights reserved
SYS-APG001-EN 3 August 2012

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Supersedes SYS-APG001-EN (January 2003)

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